Author John Mortimer died earlier this month, and the Times description of his funeral notes that he was a self-professed "atheist for Christ":
“Sir John called himself an atheist for Christ,” the vicar said. “He always came to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. But he emphatically did not believe in life after death. My hope,” she added, “is that he has had a wonderful surprise.”
John Mortimer's atheism was one of his most cherished convictions. He loved to cross-examine an archbishop about God and find his evidence deficient.
Yet it was at the little medieval church of St Mary the Virgin, in Turville, near Henley-on-Thames, where his parents are buried, that Sir John's family and friends gathered yesterday to sing The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended at his funeral.
Read it all here.
Bishop Alan Wilson commented:
The C of E at its best, I thought. And the Atheism? It sounds as though God views atheism as a harmless eccentricity, which probably doesn’t really exist as much as people think, infinitely better than pretending to believe, which is a ruddy menace...
Read it here.